Leeks are very popular in Romania, especially in the souhern region of Oltenia.
As the spring sets in and the weather gets warmer, more and more fresh vegetables are becoming available. Leeks, for example, are very popular in Romania, being grown especially in Oltenia, a region stretching between the river Danube, the Southern Carpathians and the river Olt. In fact, leeks are strongly associated with this particular region even in popular culture.
One of the most common leek dishes in Romania is leek soup. For this you need 2 or 3 leeks, a small head of celeriac, a parsley root, 2 or 3 fresh tomatoes or a can of cubed tomatoes, 200 grams of noodles, some fresh parsley and some of the brine used for pickling cabbage. Pickled cabbage is very common in Romania, but if you can't get hold of it where you live, you can use fermented bran juice or simply lemon juice instead. Chop the vegetables and set them to boil in a large pot. When the vegetables are cooked, add the noodles and let it all simmer for 15 minutes. Add the brine or lemon juice, simmer for a further 10 minutes and at the end add some salt to taste and a sprinkling of chopped parsley.
Another popular vegetarian leek recipe in Romania is a dish made using olives and tomato juice. Leeks simmered in water and salt can also be used as a base for other dishes made using chicken or fish. Leeks filled with cheese, rice and mushrooms or meat are also very interesting recipes.
To make leeks filled with cheese, you need two big leeks, 250 grams of fresh cow's cheese, 100 grams of pitted olives, two eggs, some grated hard cheese, a knob of butter, some fresh parsley and salt to taste. Rinse and cut the leeks into 10 cm long pieces from which you then remove the middle part. Mix with fresh cheese with half the parsley, finely chopped, and then stuff the leeks. Place the leeks inside a buttered oven dish. Sprinkle with the olives and pour the two beaten eggs and roast for half an hour or until the leeks become golden in colour. Before serving, sprinkle the grated cheese and the rest of the chopped parsley. Poftă bună!